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MOCHE UNC-Chapel Hill Archaeological Field School in Peru

Location: Huanchaco, Peru

July 2, 2014 to August 2, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



UNC Chapel Hill

Project Director:

Dr. Brian Billman, and Jesus Briceno

Project Description

Interested in spending a month in Peru excavating an ancient town?

  • Learn how to excavate ancient houses and how to analyze artifacts
  • Visit world-famous archaeological sites and learn about the prehistory of Peru
  • Tour the northern highlands of Peru and visit the historic town of Cajamarca
  • Earn 6 semester hours of UNC-Chapel Hill credit for Anthropology 453
  • No prerequisites.  Spanish not required.  Non-majors accepted. 

The field school provides students with training in archaeological excavation and laboratory methods as well as instruction in the prehistory of Peru.  The program begins with workshops on archaeological field and lab methods.  After this, students work 5 days a week excavating noble and commoner households at the site of Quebrada Leon, an ancient Moche town located in the foothills of the Andes.  Dating to AD 400–700, the site has well-preserved households containing Moche fineware pottery, stone tools, and metal objects.  Through excavation, analysis, readings, and group discussions, we examine how ethnicity, class, and economic relationships are manifested in household remains.  In addition, on Saturdays Dr. Brian Billman conducts tours of local museums and archaeological sites, including Chan Chan and Huaca de la Luna.  The program includes a 3-day trip to the historic town of Cajamarca, high in the northern Andes of Peru.

In addition, MOCHE, Inc. seeks highly motivated interns for the MOCHE Rapid Response Crews.  Crews are deployed to document and preserve endangered archaeological sites in the Moche Valley. Crews survey some of Peru’s most important archaeological sites and work with local communities to preserve those sites. Interns work long, hard hours with minimal supervision. Interns must be fast learners, flexible in outlook, dedicated, and work well in teams. A typical day involves extreme hikes to extraordinary archaeological sites over often dangerous trails in the foothills of the Andes. Applicants must be physically fit and mentally tough. The internship is a professional position, not a field school.  Previous archaeological field experience or an archaeological field school is required.

The internship fee is $1,250 and covers basic lodging, meals 6 days a week, & training. Interns can add a group tour of Cuzco and Machu Picchu at the end of the internship. Scholarships available.

Period(s) of Occupation: Moche Period (AD 400-700)

MOCHE welcomes applicants to the field school or volunteer program We also have an Archaeological Intern Program for those with field experience.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum age: 

Room and Board Arrangements

The field school is based in the pleasant beach town and fishing village of Huanchaco, a few miles outside of Trujillo, a large city on the north coast of Peru. Students live in a rental house in Huanchaco and receive 6 group meals a week.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
UNC Chapel Hill
Number of credits offered 6


Contact Information
Claire Novotny
Department of Anthropology 301 Alumni Bldg.CB#3115
Chapel Hill